Google always pitched Google Drive, which launched in April after a considerable period of hype, as a replacement for Google Docs. What many users didn’t realize, it seems, is that Google will indeed completely replace Google Docs with Drive later this year. While Drive is still opt-in at this time, it looks like the forced transition is coming soon, as Google has started to alert users that their Google Docs account will soon be “upgraded to Google Drive.”
What’s coming next, according to Google’s official transition documents, is an opt-out phase similar to what the company has done when it transitioned to the new Gmail interface recently. Judging from the messages that many users are now seeing in Google Docs, this phase is going to start soon.
Finally, Google says, “users will be fully transitioned to Google Drive, with no ability to opt out.” Overall, Google expects the transition from what it calls the “Google Documents List” to Google Drive by late summer 2012.
Given that Google Drive is essentially an upgrade to Google Docs with more storage and functionality, chances are most users won’t mind the transition. Unlike the rather controversial Gmail design changes lately (and Google’s move to add Google+ to each and every one of its products), Google Drive is generally perceived to be a genuine upgrade to Docs. Still, there will always be a contingent of users who would prefer the status quo.